A Place to Write

Hello, SE Readers. Joan with you today with my last post of 2020. If you follow this blog, you’re either an author who wants to engage with other authors and learn more about the craft or a want to be writer.

For most of my life, I fell into the latter category. I knew by the age of ten (maybe before) that I wanted to be a writer. It was only a dozen years ago that I decided to do something about it. I didn’t have a clue about writing fiction, so I took a few online writing classes. The things I learned were invaluable.

In one of the classes, the instructor used the term “butt glue.” In other words, butt in chair, fingers to the keyboard, and write. But many of us juggle other responsibilities—a home, family, full or part-time job. We have to make time.

But equally important is a place to write. In my early days of writing, I made a lot of excuses not to write, one of them being distractions. Most, if not all of us, would like a nice room in the house we can call our office. My ideal space would have a comfortable chair, a desk, a computer with double monitors, and a nice window where I could see nature.

Guess what? I don’t have a separate room. My writing desk is in the den right next to the television.


More often, I’m on the sofa with my laptop and trusty writing companions. (They “think” they’re helping.)

Over the years, I’ve learned to tune out distractions—even when there’s a cat on my arm or my husband has the TV blaring. I believe the more we write, the more confidence we gain. Therefore, we have less “excuses” for not writing. But if you have trouble with noises, a quiet place is essential.

Enjoy the outdoors? Take your laptop and go outside. Need to get away from the house? Find a nearby coffee shop. (Great place to watch people and get character ideas.)

For your home “office,” whether it’s a separate room or a little nook, make sure it’s comfortable for you. A good ergonomic chair is a must. Your desk needs to be large enough to accommodate your PC or Mac, monitor, printer, storage space for items such as pens or paper, and any writing books you find essential.

Make sure you have sufficient lighting and the room temperature is comfortable. Windows are nice, but if you’re easily distracted, keep the blinds closed. If you’re “sharing” the room and noise is a factor, consider purchasing noise-canceling headphones.

Most important is to make the space comfortable for you. While some might prefer an antique roll-top desk, others can get by with a simple writing table. What works for one writer might not for another one.

What’s your favorite place to write? Would you add any other essentials for your workspace? Please share in the comments.

56 thoughts on “A Place to Write

  1. Merry Christmas, Joan. I don’t have a dedicated writing spot. I tend to write anywhere, any place and any time. I write on airplanes, in the kitchen while cakes are baking or at the dining room table. I get up early and write in the mornings while my family are still sleeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankfully, I have an office that also houses a treadmill but it’s separate from the rest of the apartment. So when I’m in my office, I’m in work mode and when I leave it, I truly leave it and disengage. Thanks so much for this post about a place that is so important to writers! Merry Christmas, Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Check out Joan Hall’s post today on having a place to write. For some of us, a designated writing area is critical, while others are more flexible. Which one are you? Stop by and see what you think, then pass this along so others can join in the discussion. Thanks, and thanks to Joan for an interesting post about something we can all identify with. And Merry Christmas to you all, and to you as well, Joan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Joan. I have to say, I’ve come at this backwards, I think. When we moved into this house, I was still painting for a living, but the very first thing I said was, “Finally! A room large enough to be a library!”

    It was a nice sized area that had been a porch (or “Florida room”*) back in the day, and had been enclosed. It’s right off of the family room and kitchen area, and away from the separate living room/dining room. So this was a bonus area, and exactly what I wanted. Mark built floor-to-ceiling bookcases on every wall, and designed a simple built-in computer desk. I may not have been writing books back then (2004), but I was definitely a blogger, and loved my computer. So when I decided to take the plunge and start writing novels, I was already all set up!

    I am one of those who’s easily distracted by noises like a tv or even music, so I love that I can close the doors to the rest of the house and have all the quiet I need while I work. I’m truly lucky, and this is the first place I head every single day! I’m not even tempted to write elsewhere, partly because I don’t like typing on a laptop, but also because I prefer a fairly large monitor to make it easier for my old eyes to read. So, I’m very happy right here in my designated writing and reading space. Again, I know just how lucky I am to have this as “my” room. There’s no place else I’d rather be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have an office, and when my butt hits the chair, it motivates me to write. I can block out most noise and people coming in and out and distractions, but when I’m stuck on a scene, I get up and make lots of trips to the coffee pot. Your space looks cozy. Glad you can block out TV. I can most, but not all.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You have such a nice writing space, Joan. And I like your “helpers” when you’re on your laptop, LOL!

    I have a dedicated office, so it’s easy for me to get away from distractions. Well, except for my rescue cat, Raven, when she wants to be “helpful.” 😉
    I will however, write outside with my laptop when the it’s nice and the mood strikes. And on Fridays before the pandemic, I used to do a few hours of writing at my local library or my local Panera Bread.

    Wishing you a fabulous Christmas and New Year! Can’t wait for 2021~

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have a small office where my paper stuff is, but I write at the main computer or my laptop. So it varies. Quiet is the biggest factor for me:) stories are usually written in the house and poetry outside if possible. Great post, Joan 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi, Harmony, I have a separate office with a stereo and bookshelves and window. My husband watches TV with headphones so I don’t hear the sound. He is used to do it when I went to school and work full time. I move around and do little things as change of scenes. In the summer I like to write in the patio with the company of the garden and hummingbirds.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Like you, Joan, I don’t have a separate room, but I do have a designated space. When I sit there, my brain knows it’s time to work! Sometimes, I use a laptop… such as when I have to work lying down, but I find that much harder for getting into work mode. I can’t concentrate with any human voice in the background. Hubby is awesome, though, and happily dons his headphones if our home and work times overlap. I feel so blessed with his understanding and patience 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have an office, but I also am okay with being almost anywhere. Lately, with the burst of warm weather, Twiggy and Lucy (My rescue pets) love to go out on the porch and just sit. Naturally, they can’t do it without me, so I do some wring out there. When I first started, I needed music to keep me company. I’m okay with or without it. There are no noises too big to distract me. I guess I’ve grown into that position. Super post. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I like your writing space and companions. I usually park in an easy chair with my iPad and an ottoman. Then there is Otto, the dog. It seems I can’t do anything without him, so he usually squeezes in on my left side. I need the silence, so I’m more of a sporadic writer as the time allows.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Like you Joan, I have no problems blocking out distractions and have several spots I write – just depends on how much these old bones are cooperating! 😀 😀

    While I can write at the library, I cannot write at Starbucks, Panera Bread, etc. I have friends who write best in coffee houses, but it just annoys me. LOL!

    Enjoy the holidays and many thanks for all the helpful blogs this year!

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hear you on the “old bones.” 🙂 I do prefer a quiet place. A coffee shop is more for “research” and people watching. In my early days as a writer, I would sit and take notes about people that came and went. Great way to come up with character ideas.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I have an office, but I share it with my husband, which is less than ideall. Because I’m not earning a living from my books, he considers it a hobby and thinks interrupting me is fine.
    I don’t think writing in a cafe is for me, though. I’d feel very self-conscious.
    Your workspace looks much tidier than mine!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. What a wonderful writing space and writing companions, Joan. You’ve offered some thoughtful insights and suggestions, thank you. As for me, I’m a solid introvert and need silence when I’m writing. Fortunately, hubby claimed the walk-out basement as his when we moved to this home, and that is where the TV is located. I doubt I could write a sentence if that weren’t the case.😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sounds like you have a great set-up, Gwen. I prefer silence, but I manage if I have to. My husband works the evening shift, so I have most nights to myself. Just me and the kitties. That’s when I do most of my writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I do have a designated office, but I tend to be nomadic with my laptop. During the summer months, I love to write outside on the patio with our hummingbirds. In the winter months, I seek out the sunniest room. Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday, Joan.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I’m with you on the sofa, Joan, Not literally! With my husband and the TV, I can tune out most things, and he knows the two programmes I can’t, so they’re banned.
    In the daytime, between walking the dog and housework, I sit on the bed with my laptop on a special tray. We live in a quiet area, so that works well even with the windows open. That said, I do have a study with everything. I don’t use it; words never come… and neither do lots of mugs of coffee. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Love the look at your workspace, Joan. I have a dedicated office. Most, but not all, of my houses did. But I don’t always write there. I find a change of scenery helps break me out of ruts, so I move around my office and I move around my house. Sometimes (pre-pandemic) I even leave the house. Some people rely on routine to work. I seem to need a little variety. At least when my word count starts dropping.

    Happy holidays.

    Liked by 3 people

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